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Our Pandemic Vacation

Happy end of June, friends!

With the end of another month, we’ve hit all sorts of milestones.

  • We’ve passed the 100th day of our state’s Shelter-In-Place order.
  • We’ve started a new season… YAY SUMMER!
  • And as of today, we’re exactly 3 weeks away from baby boy’s arrival via c-section. (and crossing our fingers he doesn’t come earlier!)

When SIP started, I wouldn’t have believed you that we’d be going into summer in the state that we are in. But it is what it is. Our SIP norm is our new norm:

  • We’re still not visiting friends and family outside my mom and brother.
  • We’re still using food delivery services for our groceries.
  • And our family activities still involve long walks as a family, bike rides, and picnics.

While all of this is our new norm, we did manage to sneak away from our home to a do a short family getaway in Monterey.

And it was glorious.

We didn’t tell the girls until the day before so they were completely surprised. While our usual summer family vacation would be longer than 2 nights, I felt that with the pandemic happening, 2 nights would be perfect, and it was. We were gone long enough for it to feel like a getaway, and it was short enough to ease some paranoia.

Don’t get it twisted. I didn’t plan this getaway paranoia free. I made sure to chose a hotel with a very flexible cancellation policy and one that listed all their COVID procedures clearly. You better believe I was reading the same procedures every day to give myself peace of mind that this was a safe decision. And when our eldest daughter found out we were going on a trip, she goes “Don’t forget our masks!” So you better believe I had our masks + extras and lots of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in my purse ready to go.

Usually our main reason for going to Monterey would be the aquarium, but since it was still closed (& to be honest, I wouldn’t have been ready for that anyway), I planned our getaway with activities we would normally do at home: walks, trunk picnics, lots of outdoors, and lots of takeout. But what really drew us to Monterey was the beach, and it was the best thing to see my beach babes frolicking in the sand with beaming smiles from ear-to-ear.

@ San Carlos Beach, Monterey, CA

I shared our trip on my Instagram stories (@zherranne), and I got a handful of questions about the trip in general. Mostly about how folks were behaving in terms of the wearing of masks and social distancing. And also questions about where we stayed. I did share this on my stories, but I wanted to share with you all also:

This trip was exactly what our family needed.

All-in-all, while I was hesitant to even drive 2 hours away from home for a short getaway, I realized as we were leaving that it was exactly what we needed. Our main excuse for going was that it would be our last family “hoorah!” as a family of 4 before baby brother, and it was. But ultimately, we all needed a change of scenery after being home for 100+ days.

When I think back on the pandemic and what I did during SIP to take care of my family, I want to remember that I also took care of their mental well-being. Even though my kids are so small still, the difference the trip made on their emotions and moods was a complete 360. Need proof?

Check out these happy faces for yourself:

If you’re like me and this pandemic has given you extra anxiety, don’t be afraid to get outside of your comfort zone and leave your hometown/city. Just do it safely. It doesn’t have to be far, and it doesn’t have to be overnight, but the change of scenery will help you mentally in the long run. Just wherever you go, be safe.

  • Social distance
  • Wear your masks
  • Wash your hands
  • And don’t put yourself in a situation or location that will make you feel uncomfortable.

Have a happy summer, friends!

And to see more from our trip, check out our latest vlog below from our channel @LivNGwiththeNgs.

Let the Baby Prep Begin!

Must-Have Items for Your Baby Registry

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

We’re going on week 10 of our shelter-at-home order, and I’ll admit things still remain the same, yet chaotic around here. Being with my girls 24/7 has definitely been mentally exhausting, and since my last post I’ve started by third trimester of pregnancy so my energy level has slowly decreased as well.

With our days seemingly meshing together most days, my husband and I didn’t realize that we really only have 2 months until the baby is here. The last 10 weeks have flown by so quickly, and we are now finally getting ready for baby boy’s arrival.

Luckily he’s our third child so we have most of the things we need, but in preparation for his arrival I wanted to share my must-have items to have for your baby registry.

I know so many soon-to-be mamas right now, and I remember doing so much research for our first baby registry. While most of us expecting mamas probably will not have a baby shower, it doesn’t mean we still can’t celebrate our little baby’s with baby shower parades and virtual baby showers. Before your baby shower even happens, be sure to check out my list of must-have items for your baby registry so your family and friends can spoil your bebe.

My Baby Registry Must-Haves

1. Swaddles

My go-to: Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle

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For both of our girls, we found these swaddles to be true life savers. Nothing kept them sleeping for longer periods of time than the Halo Sleep Sack Swaddle. You can easily swaddle with a cute receiving blanket, or you can save yourself the trouble of trying to master the swaddle by wrapping them up in one of these. They even come in a variety of fun designs and colors.

2. Breast bump

My go-to: Medela Pump In Style

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The Medela Pump In Style was a constant reliable for both of my girls. I noticed there are a lot more options nowadays for breast pumps, but Medela has been good to me since 2015. I used the pump for almost a year with both girls. If you want a pump that works great, easy to transport, and is more affordable compared to it’s newer competitors, this is the breast pump for you.

3. Pack-and-Play 

My go-to: Graco Pack-and-Play Change and Carry Playard

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Another old reliable for both of my children that I plan on using even for my third baby is my Graco Pack-and-Play Change and Carry Playard. What I love about this playard is that it’s compact enough to fit in a corner of your room, and it comes with both a changing table and bassinet. So while your baby is small, you can easily put them down for a nap in the bassinet, and as they get bigger, you can use the playard for it’s full size. It even comes with a side pouch to keep your diapers and wipes in!

4. Diaper Pail 

My go-to: Playtex Diaper Genie

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One of my least favorite parts about having a baby in the house is having stinky diapers. While some might find throwing a stinky diaper in the trash the best easiest way to get rid of a soiled diaper, we found that a reliable diaper pail is definitely needed. Our go-to diaper pail is the Playtex Diaper Genie for it’s easy-to-use functions, large size, and simple design. Whatever the theme is for your nursery, I’m sure you can find a Diaper Genie in the color that best fits your needs.

5. Nursing Pillow 

My go-to: Boppy Nursing Pillow

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If you’re planning on breastfeeding, the Boppy Nursing Pillow is a must-have! It’s versatile use makes it something you definitely want to have for your child’s first year of life. When it’s not being used as a nursing pillow, it can also be used for tummy time or learning to sit up. It’s also easy to clean – just throw it in the washing machine. And don’t worry, white is just the base color. You can get different cases for it that match your style or nursery.

6. Stroller

My go-to: Zoe XLC Traveler

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For this stroller, we actually have it as a double-stroller, but if it was around when our oldest daughter was born we definitely would’ve gotten one then too. When choosing any stroller, I have two things in mind: weight and size. The Zoe XLC Traveler is not only light for a stroller of it’s durability, but it also folds nicely into a compact size. It also comes in 8 different colors, AND it’s Disney approved. Meaning it’s not too big to bring to the parks. Even their double-stroller is Disney approved!

7. Baby Carrier

My go-to: Boba Wrap Carrier

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While a stroller is great to have, what your baby will love being in, especially during the first few months, is a baby carrier. For both of my girls, I have two different carriers – a traditional carrier and a wrap carrier. My favorite of the two was definitely the wrap carrier, specifically the Boba Wrap Carrier. With it’s super soft and stretchy material, it’s easy to use and clean. As a first-time mom, it was the perfect thing to use around the house to keep my baby girl close while getting things done. And I’ll definitely be using it again with my third.

8. Onesies with Zippers

My go-to: Gerber Sleep & Play

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I’m not sure why they don’t make all onesies with zippers, but I think they should. I personally think button onesies should be avioded at all costs, and you should try to get as many zipper (or magnet) onesies as possible. My go-to zipper onesies are the Gerber Sleep and Play for their soft fabric, easy use, and comfortability for baby.

9. Socks

My go-to: Simple Joys by Carter Baby 12-Pack

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Another one of my least favorite things are baby socks, but they are definitely needed. I honestly only hate them because they’re so easy to lose, but that’s the same reason why you’ll want a lot of them. Your child won’t be wearing shoes until they’re closer to 1-year-old, so you’ll need as many socks as possible in the first year. My go-to choice for socks are the Simple Joy’s By Carter Baby 12-Pack. With one or two of these 12-packs, you’ll have plenty of socks for the first six months.

10. Nursing bras

My go-to: HOFISH Push-Up Nursing Bra

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And the last on my list is an item for mom. With my first pregnancy, I did not even think about nursing clothes and nursing bras until after the baby was born. So if there’s one thing I recommend to first time moms, it’s to be sure you have at least nursing bras on your registry. The HOFISH Push-Up Nursing Bra are comfortable, affordable, and come in a variety of colors that can fit anyone’s style.

Keeping Sane in Quarantine

We’re going on 6 weeks of quarantine. And while last time I mentioned it basically felt like everyday life because I’m a stay-at-home-mom and our life typically revolves in this fashion, I’ll admit I’m starting to feel the affects of the situation.

I’ll be real, I really miss Target. I miss Target and Costco. Yes, I know those stores are still open, but the designated “shopper” (aka the one we’ve voted for tribute) in our household is my husband. More specifically I miss going on shopping dates with my husband to those places, and I miss going to those places by myself even more. I love my children, and I firmly believe this time right now with them is so valuable and precious, BUT this mama needs a mental break. Before all of this, grocery shopping was my mini mental getaway, and now that I haven’t done that in more than five weeks, I’m starting to realize how important that was to my life. Also the few hours they spent in school gave me the chance to focus on myself for a few hours a week, and now I only get those moments if I manage my time well.

If you ask me how I’m doing, my answer will be “I’m doing ok. Just tired from being with the girls 24/7.” Truthfully they’re one piece of the puzzle, and the other piece is the fact that I have a to-do list of things that I can’t seem to check things off of. I’m really trying not to focus on the list and be gracious with myself, but there’s a part of me who is feeling like a failure for not getting things done. I feel like because I can’t manage my time as well as I used to, I can’t work on my list. And mentally it’s hurting me a little.

Luckily I have a husband who keeps me in check.

  • He reminds me why it’s ok I haven’t gotten as much done as I want to.
  • He lets me take a nap instead of doing a chore.
  • He looks at my list and gets something done for me.
  • He gives me a pass for washing the dishes because all the hand-washing in itself is making my eczema go crazy.
  • He encourages me to bake often because he knows it’ll make me happy.
  • He FaceTimes me while he’s at the store so I can at least see Target.
  • He even encouraged me to start “In the Kitchen With Mama Z” on our YouTube channel because he knows I need a creative outlet to keep me sane.
  • And the list can really go on and on…

And he does all this while still working full-time from home.

As for my list, I’m learning to just look at my to-do by the week instead of by the day. I’m learning to be ok with pushing things off until tomorrow or even the next week. I’m learning to let go of how I’d normally do things because in reality, we’re all in a new situation. We’re all living a new normal.

But what’s my real secret to keeping sane during this quarantine? It’s having a partner who recognizes what helps me stay sane. When I’m busy managing two little kids all day, it’s nice to have someone who will take care of me.

So to my husband, thank you. There’s no one I’d rather be stuck in quarantine with.

And if you want to check out my “In the Kitchen With Mama Z” videos on our channel, here’s my favorite recipe I’ve done so far!

You Are Stronger Than You Realize

I saw a quote today that really stuck with me:

“This is tough, but I am tougher.”

During this chaotic time in our lives, I really want to focus on what I do have. And to remind myself that being “stuck” at home is tough, but I am tougher.

This week marks week 3 of our shelter-in-place. In the beginning of all of this, I wasn’t too phased by having to stay indoors and keep my kids at home with me because it’s basically my every day life as a stay-at-home-mom. But as the weeks move on and the shelter-in-place has been extended, I am starting to feel my anxiety creep up on me a little more. And the reality of the situation is starting to put a toll on my mental health.

  • I am sad I cannot see my family and friends.
  • I am scared to go outside.
  • I am scared that my husband, who’s job has now been deemed essential, can get sick or bring the virus home.
  • I am sad my kids aren’t able to go to their happy places – the playground, school, their grandparents’ houses, etc.
  • I am disappointed we had to postpone our Spring Break trip that I’ve been planning since last October.
  • And I am worried about giving birth without my husband by my side.

But at the same time, I am so grateful and feeling so blessed for what we do have.

  • I am grateful for the technology of FaceTime and Zoom calls to connect with my loved ones and for the girls to connect with their teachers and classmates. I feel like with all the free time we have, I’m actually talking to my loved ones more than before. While no hugs are involved, just having conversations with them fills my heart.
  • I am grateful we live in a place where it’s not too cold and not too hot. We live in a part of California where the Spring time means you’re just going outside in a light sweater and leggings. This has made going outside for walks and bike rides part of our daily routine, and the girls just love it.
  • While I am worried for my husband’s health, I am grateful he still has work to keep him busy during this time and that we still have income coming in. To be honest, I think quarantine would be much harder on me mentally if I had to listen to my husband complain how bored he is everyday.
  • I am grateful for Amazon, online grocery services, and really all technology that makes sheltering easier. In anticipation of the quarantine lasting longer, we went ahead and ordered an at-home jumpy house for the girls. The joy it gives them just lights up my heart each time they wait for it to blow-up. They also don’t seem to notice much has “changed” in our lives which really puts into perspective how adults are looking at this entire situation. I wish we can all live as resiliently as children.
  • I am grateful that we’ll be going on our trip during my birthday like originally planned. Before I found out I was pregnant, I had requested that my big 3-0 be spent on a family trip, and when I found out I was pregnant we decided to move it up before the baby’s arrival. Guess it was always in our cards to have this trip for my birthday after-all 🙂
  • I am grateful there’s still 4 months until baby boy is here. No one knows when this chaos will “mellow out”, but I am being hopeful that it will by the time the baby is due. And if it doesn’t, I have to remind myself that “this is tough, but I am tougher”.

There’s a lot of fear in the world right now, but instead of living in fear, I am doing my best to live in love and gratitude. And I hope you all are too. Just remember, you are stronger than you realize!

Stay safe and healthy, friends!

It’s a Boy!

As my husband would say… third time’s a charm. We are happy to announce we have a baby boy on the way!

This is exactly the type of news we needed during this chaotic time. While the mayhem of COVID-19 fills our social media platforms and news channels, we’re over here getting ready for our little boy. He has become the perfect distraction in our household.

But I’ll be honest with you all, never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d have a son. Not because I don’t want a son, but because I’ve always seen myself as a girl mom…like I’m wired to parent girls and deal with the sassiness that comes with parenting little ladies. So I was actually rooting for a girl all this time, but I am sure glad I was wrong.

Now he is all I can think about. But I’m even happier because two very important people in my life are OVERJOYED with this news.

  1. My oldest daughter has been asking for a baby brother from the moment she found out I’m having a baby.
  2. My HUSBAND has been waiting for a son since our first pregnancy.

This whole time I was over here thinking I knew exactly what was going to happen…we’d have another girl, and my husband would be a girl dad for life. But instead God threw this curveball at me, and I am feeling so blessed.

To share the news with our family and friends, we did decide to have a gender reveal party. And we are so glad we did because everyone else was hoping for a boy too! To see everyone’s reactions, check out our gender reveal vlog. So many priceless reactions caught on camera!

But even before the gender reveal, we decided to share the moment together and find out the baby’s gender by ourselves at home. The moment I realized my husband and eldest daughter’s prayers are answered seriously broke me to tears. Check out that moment here:

Should You Go to Disneyland While Pregnant?

My answer? Absolultely.

As a veteran mama and die-hard Disney fanatic, of course my answer is yes. I will admit that “pre-baby me” would probably tell you otherwise, but after having experienced Disney multiple times while pregnant, I’m all for it.

In a recent Instagram post, I shared that every time we’ve thought about not renewing our Disneyland Annual Passports (APs) and have ended renewing after all, we’ve actually gotten pregnant! The first time this happened, I was a little upset because I thought I would not be able to enjoy the parks. But I realized I was only upset for one reason – I couldn’t ride any “big kid” aka thrill rides.

During my first pregnancy, what I learned while visiting the parks was that there are so many other things you can enjoy! So today I’ll be sharing what you can do while pregnant at the Disneyland Resort.

1. Watch the Shows

What I noticed a lot of adults who visit Disneyland neglect are the amazing shows! Depending on the time of the year, between Disneyland (DL) and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA), you have at least a dozen shows to chose from. Yes some are geared more towards children, but they shows we cannot miss (especially while pregnant at Disneyland Resort) are:

  • World of Color (DCA)
  • Frozen – Live at the Hyperion (DCA)
  • Mariachi Divas (DCA)
  • Turtle Talk with Crush (DCA)
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic (DCA)
  • Parades (DCA + DL)
  • Fantasmic (DL)
  • Dapper Dans (DL)
  • Disneyland Marching Band (DL)
  • Enchanted Tiki Room (DL)
  • Mickey and the Magical Map (DL)
  • Storytelling at the Royal Theater (DL)

Tip: For large shows like World of Color or Fantasmic, there’s always a designated section for persons with disabilities. If you are unable to stand and wait for long periods of time because you’re farther along in your second or third trimester, let the cast member of that section know you are pregnant, and they will find a spot for you and your party.

Pixar Pier during the World of Color

2. Meet the characters

Whether you’re a Disney fanatic like myself, or it’s your first time at the parks, meeting the characters must be on your to-do list. If you’re visiting the parks with a group of adults, this is an activity I like to do while waiting for my group to get off a ride. If you utilize the Disneyland app, you can easily find out where and when characters will appear.

With Stitch during my 3rd pregnancy

3. Ride the “Little Kid” rides

While many adults visit for the thrill rides, let’s not forget that Disneyland Resort is place for everyone of all ages. So of course, there are plenty of rides left to do even while pregnant. In each land, there’s a ride for you. If you’re unsure if you are able to ride, each ride does have a sign with ride restrictions. The same restrictions are also posted on their website if you’d like to plan before you go.

The warning for expectant mother’s will specifically say “EXPECTANT MOTHER SHOULD NOT RIDE.”

TIP: If this is your first pregnancy, just remember that all the rides you can ride now while pregnant are also the same rides you’ll be able to take your baby/toddler/little kid on later once you take them for their first visit to the parks!

Here’s a list of some of the rides I love to enjoy while pregnant at Disneyland Resort:

  • it’s a small world (DL)
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (DL)
  • Jungle Cruise (DL)
  • Disneyland Railroad (DL)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (DL) – if you’re missing some thrill, this does have two small drops!
  • Haunted Mansion (DL)
  • Winnie the Pooh (DL)
  • Peter Pan’s Flight (DL)
  • Mad Tea Party (DL)
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (DCA)
  • The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (DCA)
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (DCA)
  • Monsters Inc Mike & Sulley to the Rescue (DCA)
  • Toy Story Mania (DCA)
  • Pixar-Pal-Around (DCA)

4. Try all the snacks

Ok so earlier I mentioned meeting characters while your friends are all waiting for a ride right? While that’s one option for something to do while you wait, my go-to “activity” while I wait is actually EATING. Specifically, eating all the snacks!

If your friends get Fastpasses for rides, chances are you won’t be waiting more than 20-25 minutes at a time. If they’re standing in the standby line, yes definitely go see a character. If they’re using a Fastpass, grab something to nibble while you wait.

Here’s a list of my favorite snacks to nibble on while pregnant at Disneyland Resort:

  • Churros
  • Cream cheese pretzels
  • Dole whip float
  • Soft serve
  • Matterhorn Macaron
  • Popcorn
  • Mint Juleps & Beignets
  • Smoothie from Schmoozie’s
  • Corndogs
  • Jack-Jack’s num-num cookie

5. Plan sit-down dining reservations

I’ve already mentioned snacking, but let’s be real, the best thing to do while pregnant at Disneyland is eat. So on top of eating all the snacks, before you make your way to the Disneyland Resort, be sure to make some dining reservations. Of course you can easily do this when you’re not pregnant as well, but when you’re pregnant I feel like you have even more reason to make reservations.

Here are my favorite sit-down restaurants that take reservation. All of these restaurants are perfect for making a reservation while pregnant at Disneyland Resort.

For Breakfast:

  • Carnation Cafe (DL)
  • Plaza Inn Character Breakfast (DL)
  • Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
  • Lamplight Lounge – brunch on the weekends only (DCA)

For Lunch & Dinner:

  • Carnation Cafe (DL)
  • Blue Bayou (DL)
  • Cafe Orleans (DL)
  • Carthay Circle (DCA)
  • Lamplight Lounge (DCA)
  • Goofy’s Kitchen (Disneyland Hotel)
  • Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen (Downtown Disney)

Tip: You can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance. Some restaurants like Blue Bayou fill up quickly on reservations so be sure to book early if you have a place you’re dying to eat at!

@ Goofy’s Kitchen during my 2nd pregnancy

Tips for Your Disneyland Vacation While Pregnant

Other than what to do in the parks while you are pregnant, here a few tips that might be helpful during your pregnant visit.

  • Take a midday break.
  • Bring refillable water bottles.
  • Book a hotel walking distance to the hotel.
  • Fly into the Long Beach airport or Orange County airport, and use Uber/Lyft to get to your hotel.
  • If you’re visiting during the warmer months, go inside the Animation Academy (DCA) or the Main Street Cinema (DL) to sit down and rest.
  • Request a complimentary “First Visit” button for your new baby from a cast member inside City Hall on Main Street.
  • Take all the baby bump pictures!

No matter what you do, just listen to your body and have fun! Some ladies are discouraged to go do to Disneyland while pregnant because they think they’ll “miss out” on things or will get too tired, but remember Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. So just go and enjoy the magic!

And be sure to check out our latest Disneyland vlog over at our Youtube channel – @LivngwiththeNgs – where I also share some of these tips!

The Questionable Asian

Sharing my #AsianStory for my Mixed Asian Children

Happy Year of the Rat! With it being Lunar New Year, I thought it would be fitting to share my #AsianStory. This is a hashtag that has been floating around the Asian Instagram community for the new year so I thought it would be perfect for my next blogpost.

At the start of the new lunar year, I actually shared a brief summary of mine and my husband’s #AsianStory on an Instagram post on our family account (@LivNgwiththeNgs). And for context purposes, here it is again…

In honor of LNY, we want to share our #AsianStory. A lot of times folks get confused about our IG name, so to clarify it’s LivNG (like Living) with the Ng’s. Our last name “Ng” is pronounced like “ing” but often times we get called the “N.G.” or even “Nguyen” family. We are the Ng’s because dad is half Chinese & half Nicaraguan. Growing up he embraced his father’s culture by eating the food, spending time with his Chinese family, and celebrating Chinese New Year every year. He doesn’t speak Cantonese like his dad, but has picked up words and phrases that we try to teach the girls.

Mom’s #AsianStory is that she’s Filipino. As a first generation Filipino-American on both sides of her family, she’s learned to embrace her Filipino culture by learning the language, embracing the customs, and eating & cooking the food. Did you know the Philippines has a lot of Chinese influence on their culture? Because of this, mom has also grown up to celebrate Lunar New Year. Also having grown up in San Francisco, Lunar New Year has always been a large celebration in the community.

While most Filipinos do not celebrate Chinese/Lunar New Year, this one does. Not just because my husband celebrates it, but because my family has Chinese cultural roots as well. Before the Spaniards came to the Philippines, the Chinese had already been living there for many years. It’s both the Chinese and Spanish influence that makes the Filipino culture the unique Asian culture that it is. Growing up there were things I actually thought were strictly Filipino, and it wasn’t until I was with my husband that I realized some of these things were actually Chinese. (Like eating “tikoy” aka “lingo” aka “nian gao” is actually a Chinese tradition for CNY.)

In actuality, growing up as a Filipino was sometimes a little confusing because of this cultural blend. Often times my father and I would be mistaken for Chinese, and by middle school and high school I was often asked if I was pacific-islander. Yes the Philippines are made up of thousands of islands on water that some may think is the Pacific Ocean, BUT they’re actually islands that border the Philippine Sea and South China Sea in Southeast Asia. I’ll admit at one point I did claim Pacific-islander, but it was only because it felt like other Asians didn’t see us Filipinos as Asians. Like I said, confusing.

Now as a mother of mixed Filipino, Chinese, & Nicaraguan kids, one of my goals is to make sure my kids learn about where their ancestors came from and embrace the cultures that make them uniquely them. 

A question I’ve asked my mixed husband and mixed friends in the past is “Do you identify more with one than another?” And one reason I ask it is because if I’m full Filipino and already have had a ethnicity identity crisis, then I imagine they definitely have. This is something I’m hoping my kids don’t have. Right now we do our best to teach them as much as possible of each language and regularly eat food from each culture. As they get older, I hope they learn to love these things that make them uniquely them.

I know it’ll be challenging with the world we live in, but I’m hoping as Asians and Latinos are becoming more and more prevalent in main stream culture, we’ll face less hurdles. 

To kick off the start of Chinese New Year, we celebrated by checking out the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney’s California Adventure. We decided to dress the girls in traditional Qipao dresses since we saw Minnie Mouse was sporting one too. Our girls were so excited to wear their dresses. The day they wore them almost every Asian cast member we saw greeted us with a “Happy New Year!” I do wonder if they would’ve greeted us if they weren’t wearing the dresses, but I will admit it did feel special for them to get recognized in them.

Let Us Be Better

I never intended my second post for the month to be this serious. But like I’ve said, life happens, and I just wanted to share what has been on my mind.

There have been two moments in my life where I’ve neared death…

The first was on Christmas Day 9-years ago. Our car spun across a 6-lane highway and was hit 3 times by cars going at least 70- mph. We came out of that accident in disbelief that we were alive, and that no one in the other cars were injured. But ultimately we were so thankful for another chance at life. I truly believe angels were watching over us in that moment, and the Lord sent them knowing He had more things planned for us. 

The second time was after my second daughter was born. I gave birth to her via c-section, and a week after she was born I was having serious post-surgery hemorrhaging. When I started bleeding, we were already staying at the hospital due to our daughter being tested for an infection she had. So I am thankful the bleeding didn’t happen while we were at home. But it was so bad that I lost a little more than half my entire blood supply. I was given surgery to stop the bleeding, but during the surgery I had lost even more blood that I was rushed to receive an emergency blood transfusion.

I knew I already lost a lot of blood prior to the surgery so knowing I had lost even more actually made me worry. I remember I felt so weak lying there wondering if this was really how I would die. I like to think I have a high pain tolerance, but in this moment, it had felt like life was literally being sucked out of me. Instead of pain, all I felt was weakness. At the same time, a dozen nurses were hooking me up to machines to get the blood in me, then one nurse started talking to me about my daughters and husband. She asked me how old my girls are and what their names are. And she asked how long I’d been married to my husband. And in that moment, I felt the Lord push me back to where I needed to be fighting for my life. I believe that nurse was an angel. 

With the tragic event that happened earlier this week, I have had a lot of thoughts about life going through my mind, including thinking back on the times I thought my time on this Earth was over. This isn’t the first time these thoughts have flooded my mind, but it is the first time I’ve written the thoughts out.

There’s no time to for hate.

There’s no time for judgement.

There’s no time for caring about what others think.

There’s no time for grudges. 

There’s no time to be angry.

With Kobe’s death, I have reflected on these moments of my life even more. After each event, I knew I had to do more with my life. Not that I felt that I was a bad person, but I knew I could be better.

If there’s one thing that Kobe’s death has taught me, it’s that we all need to be better. Yes, it also shows us that life is short, but I believe we must trust in God’s plan for us. We must trust in His plan and live our lives full of kindness and with no regrets.

I can only imagine how Kobe felt as he was holding his daughter in those horrific last moments of their life. But I like to believe, as a man of God, he and Gigi met our Lord with the same smile on their faces as they had on Earth. 

Kobe was a hero whose legacy span among multiple generations so the impact of his death hits hard across almost everyone I know. But I also feel as a human race, we needed this tragedy to happen. Not to make us sad, but to make the world better. Kobe was a hero for a reason. He was admired for a reason. So I believe his passing is a reminder to us all to be better. 

To be better children.

To be better parents.

To be better siblings.

To be better friends. 

To be better strangers. 

To be better humans.

As my daughter likes to say, “Mommy, we need to be kind to one another, right?”

We all need to be kinder and spread more love. And why? Because life is short. Because life is so short we need to use what little time we have on this Earth to be better. 

I’ve always felt that my role/my calling/my vocation is to be a mother so I’m going to continue to raise my children with love and kindness so they too can spread it out in the world.

Let us be better. Not just because we need it now, but because the world our children will live in after we’re gone will need it.

Hello 2020

I know I’m a few weeks late, but Happy 2020! It was a rough start to the new year in our household with everyone taking turns getting sick so you can say we’ve been preoccupied.

Oh…and I forgot to mention I’m PREGNANT! I had every intention of doing a separate post about announcing my third pregnancy on here, but like I mentioned, life happens. Between getting sick and constantly having “morning” sickness (it’s in quotations because I literally get sick almost all day), I’ve pretty much been struggling to function. So instead of a pregnancy announcement post, I’m going to start my year with a “goals & dreams” post.

2020 Goals & Dreams

  • Maintain my healthy lifestyle/ keep up with working out, especially during pregnancy.
  • Post 2 blog posts a month.
  • Pass the DRE Salesperson exam.
  • Have a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery.
  • Cross off at least two places from our travel bucket-list.
  • Learn healthier, kid-friendly recipes.
  • Actually use the Instant Pot and Filipino Instant Pot cookbook my husband gifted to me.
  • On that note, cook and bake more Filipino food.
  • Monthly date nights with my husband.
  • And with another baby on the way, have more solo dates with each of our kids.

I hope you all are having a great start to the new year. And if you haven’t made goals for yourself for the new year, it’s never too late! There’s no better start than now to accomplishing your dreams.

Til next time friends<3

Farewell 2019: My 2019 Reflection

Can you guys believe there’s only one full day left in 2019? I feel like I’ve said this a million times on my blog, but time is really going by so quickly. I feel like ever since I became a mom, every year has just gone by faster and faster. I can still remember Zayanna’s newborn days like it was yesterday so the fact that she’s already 4 and doing things like a “big kid” just blows my mind.

2019 was a big year for me. When I started the year, I decided to dedicate it solely to me and to my well-being. As a couple, my husband and I like to look forward at the year together so ultimately our goals are always as a couple. For myself, it has always meant putting my husband and his goals first. So coming into 2019, we both agreed – whatever happened in 2019 would mean changes for me.

And that’s exactly what happened.

  • I committed to my first workout program, and managed to make working out part of my daily routine.
  • I was able to change my entire mindset on nutrition all together. And instead of hating healthy food, I’ve learned to love it by making things I enjoy.
  • I became a stay-at-home mom. (It’s something I always wanted but never actually told anyone that it was a goal in life.)
  • I started studying to join my husband in his business. (But don’t think that means I won’t be at home with my kiddos. I’ll just shift to hustle-at-home-mom!)
  • And then there’s the reason you’re reading this… I finally started my blog!

And through all of this, I learned to love myself more. I learned to be nicer to myself. I learned the importance of mental health.

I feel like I accomplished a lot this year, but don’t think it all came easy. With great changes, comes great struggle. In my new roles and routine, I also had to learn balance and how to adjust to new things. And trust me, there’s nothing that drives me crazier than things being out of sync. But I learned to overcome. And I am thankful for every step I had to take to get to where I am today.

And at the root of it all, this year taught me the importance of manifestation and trusting your faith. I firmly believe all my years of manifestation and putting my faith in God, brought me to where I am today. So going into 2020, into the new year, into the new decade, I know exactly where my heart and mind need to be to accomplish what I hope to.

A quick recap of my 2019 through my Top 9 from my Instagram.